Brian Moynihan has led Bank of America through its darkest period, punctuated Thursday by its nearly $17 billion settlement with the Justice Department.

His job since taking over as chief executive from the controversial Ken Lewis in 2010 has primarily been one of negotiator-in-chief. He has overseen $48 billion in settlements of mortgage bond, overdraft, fair lending and other problems, most of which stemmed from Lewis' ill-fated acquisitions of Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch.

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